Thursday, April 14, 2011

Remix take 1.

I've been neglecting this thing.  So here, is a quick update.  I entered my first ever remix competition a few weeks back for a little German duo called Botany Bay.  It was a remix of their track A Better Way.  My version's included up top.  Details on what I did after the jump

So.  This is one of the first times I used spectrum analysis ever for mixing/mastering.  Basically, it's a little graph that let's me see what frequencies a sound or instrument is producing, and at what decibels.  It's also a great tool to use when my ears aren't doing a good enough job.  My goal was to get some really good separation of parts by carving out room for each instrument.  Of course, I also wanted all the sounds to feel like they all belong together.  Each part was given it's own space, but was used to help create the overall soundscape I was going for. . . . In a really deliberate way.    (This meant that a lot of ideas I had were totally thrown out because there was no way to make 'em work. . . or it would have been too tedious to deliberately carve out room for any extra elements)

I found out what frequencies were most important for one instrument, and deeply cut those frequencies out of everything else.  If a frequency wasn't important to an instrument, i'd deeply cut it also.  What this meant, is that alone, some of the instruments and sounds were pretty thin, but in the mix I'm really happy with the overall soundscape.

(above) M Class Equalizers in Record/Reason for a drum track.

I've still got some work to do to make this kind of thing worthy of the big leagues, but it's a lot of fun and solves a lot of problems when I'm trying to create soundscapes for other songs.  I used a similar technique in Future Fossil.  I'm really happy with it, and although individually some of the elements sound unusual, the overall effect is a really nice patchwork of frequencies and sounds.  I also find that spending some time up front carving out SOME tentative space for sounds helps keep me from the endless cycle of instrument and sample auditions.  I'm more able to carve what I want out of almost any sound.  Doesn't seem like a pro thing to do, but it works for me so far.

Anyway. . . more to come soon.

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